Saturday, 10 October 2009

The struggle continues

Fegocowosa CC's difficult start to the season continued today at the TBS oval as they succumbed to a 4-wicket defeat at the hands of a powerful GCI Old Boys side in their latest warm-up match. Unlike the previous two friendlies, the Federal boys had first go with the bat and their top order struggled to get going against some probing bowling from the Ibadan boys. When skipper Roland Ilube was 5th out in the 26th over with less than 60 on the board, questions were being asked as to whether the team could break the 100 mark, but a late flourish from Femi Olayiwole (28) and James Imhanlahimi (20*) took us to a final total of 155-9 off our allotted 40 overs.

Friday Udoh was again dangerous with the new ball, and got the first breakthrough in the third over, and when Biodun Abioye took the second wicket with his second ball, GCI were looking uncertain at 37-2. Biodun picked up a couple more, but Ramit was beginning to look ominous at the other end, aided by some indifferent umpiring and fielding. Chimezie Onwuzulike joined him at 90-4 for what was to be the match-winning partnership, and even though A-Roy Ororho finally disposed of Ramit (79) and one more, Chimezie held firm to finish on 33* and guide GCIOB to victory with 10 overs to spare.

Monday, 5 October 2009

More work to do

Fegocowosa CC put up a spirited performance in their friendly encounter with defending league champions - Ibeju-Lekki I CC - last Sunday, but it wasn't enough to avoid a 45-run defeat. Once again, Roland Ilube won the toss and invited his opponents to bat. The four-prong pace attack put in an excellent display while the shine was on the ball, and reduced the much-vaunted Ibeju batting line-up to 90-4, with Friday Udoh and Biodun Abioye in particular moving the ball prodigiously. However, the Ibeju player-coach, Shaun Phillips, then found an ally in Lekan Awolowo, and as the ball grew old and the sun beat down, this pair put together what would prove to be a match-winning partnership. They took the score past 200 before Lekan departed for 30, but Shaun kept going, taking a particular shine to Uthe Ogbimi's medium pace, and brought up a chanceless century to guide his side to an imposing total of 245-6 off 40 overs.

In reply, the Warri openers set off like a house on fire, racing to 50 inside the first 8 overs, and it looked like the Ibeju score might be well within reach, but after the breakthrough the middle order failed to get going, and when Femi Oduyebo was run out by a smart throw the Federal boys were four down with 88 on the board. Uthe and Roland rebuilt against the spinners, but the asking rate was climbing all the time and eventually Uthe had a dip at Lekan and holed out in the deep. That effectively ended the contest, although Roland (63*) batted through to the end to take the Old Boys score to an even 200 for the loss of seven wickets. So, some positives to take away before the start of hostilities proper, but still a look of work to do.